2017 State of Nonprofit Technology Report Reveals: 3 Key Findings

Andrew VaethNonprofit Collaboration, Nonprofit Tech, Nonprofit Tools

Is technology really working for nonprofits? And how are nonprofits using it?

We created the State of Nonprofit Technology Report survey with Business Volunteers Unlimited (BVU) to better understand the state of nonprofit technology use across the nation.

Through our survey findings, we discovered that the nonprofit industry has room for improvement where technology is concerned. The top 3 trends, which are detailed in the 2017 State of Nonprofit Technology Report, are below.

Download the 2017 State of Nonprofit Technology Report.


1. Nonprofits aren’t happy with their technology–or even equipped with the proper technology at all.

With over 250+ survey responses from nonprofit professionals, our findings show that more than 50% of nonprofits feel Neutral, Dissatisfied, or Extremely Dissatisfied with the technology they use.

We surveyed respondents on the tools they use for various functions, including file management, donor management, client services and mass email distribution.

When asked the level of satisfaction with each tool, there were no instances where the majority of respondents reported being Very Satisfied with their tool.

And while an abundance of technology options exist, 37.3% of respondents marked Disagree or Strongly Disagree when asked if IT is included in their strategic plan, indicating that there is likely little strategic selection of the proper technology.

2. Nonprofits aren’t utilizing an IT-specific employee or consultant, though it could be helpful.

The majority of nonprofits do not usually employ an internal IT specialist.

18.25% of nonprofits lack an IT-specific employee, meaning that nobody in the organization takes responsibility for the organization’s overall technology needs.

When asked how often they rely on consultants for technology expertise, guidance and support. 58.73% responded Sometimes, Rarely or Never.

Considering that many nonprofits are dissatisfied with their technology tools, it would seem that the organizations could benefit from an IT-specific staff member or consultant.

3. Many nonprofits have similar concerns when it comes to technology.

When surveyed about top IT concerns, all of the responses could be classified in the following categories: lack of resources (27.27%), updating tech/staying current (34.54%), and general IT issues (38.18%).

An example of these responses comes from a respondent who stated, “It is difficult to find an affordable consultant who can provide top-notch service to a small nonprofit.”

Many nonprofit organizations experience similar technology issues. If your organization struggles with technology, you’re not alone. Download the full report to compare common pain points and satisfaction of specific technology with other organizations of similar size, revenue and location.